Sleeping. A little black girl, lying on her couch, in her home in Detroit. Dreaming little black girl dreams. Her sleep shattered by a firebomb lobbed through the window. Police force their way in, desperately looking for a man. A shot daggers the air. A bullet to her head. Aiyana Stanley Jones. Seven years old. Dead.
A decade ago I met with Amiri Baraka at San Francisco's City Lights Bookstore for a reading of his short story collection, Tales of the Out and Gone. He said that he'd written nearly twenty books and nearly all of them were out of print. As a writer who had hoarded his work from my excavations of used bookstores and library sales, it hurt to hear this.